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Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eighteen: The Charmer, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard, Chapter Eighteen: The Charmer, pt. 1
Yikes, I don't have long until sunset. This may be too quick; please feel free to correct mistakes.

Frankie just said an incredibly stupid thing, Teddy called him crazy, and, of all people, Honoria overheard. She's running the brand new school paper.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy got out the Marauder's Map when he got back to Gryffindor Tower and watched the others, in Hufflepuff, ignoring Checkmate's pleas for attention. Frankie seemed to have stormed to his room, while Tinny continued running the game. Ruthless kept drifting back and forth to the door, and he wasn't surprised to see her leave. He watched her come up the stairs, pause at the portrait, then come right through the Common Room and up the stairs. He put the Map away when she knocked on the door.

"Teddy?" she said.

He went to the door and opened it. "What?"

She dropped his dice and his book bag on the floor. "Your things. Do you plan to explain on your own, or am I going to have to start hurting you?"

"Frankie's being an idiot, and I called him on it. I put up with it last time when he blamed me but this isn't my fault."

Ruthless shrugged. "All right. For what it's worth, I think the 'Puffs are more worried about him than mad at you this time. He didn't even bother with the rest of the game. Tinny ran it. I'm sure you're anxious to know it, but we managed to rescue everybody and get a lot of priceless works of art out--"

"I don't care."

"I didn't actually think you would. It was a bad day for a fight."

"Yeah," Teddy grudgingly agreed, now also angry that he'd missed a good game. "But I'm tired of it, anyway. All the stupid hero stuff."

"Well, it is risky to sit around and roll dice, I know, but sometimes, you just have to call on that Gryffindor spirit."

Teddy picked up his things and tossed them onto his bed. "Did you want something?"

"To know what's going on."


Ruthless stood at the door, shifting from foot to foot, then shook her head. "All right," she said. "I'm meant to go to a newspaper thing this afternoon--"

"You're still on that?"


"With Geoffrey and Honoria?"

"You'd rather leave it to them?"

"I don't care."

She shook her head. "I'll see you at dinner."

"I'm not hungry."

Ruthless frowned at him, then shrugged again. "Well, feed your cat at least. Her bowls are empty." She turned and left.

Teddy looked down at Checkmate, who was glaring at him in an accusatory way. Her food bowl had, in fact, been licked clean. The elves refilled the water magically, but the food was his job. "Sorry, Checks," he said. "Should've listened." He scooped some food in the dish and sat down against the wall to pet her while she ate. "And I probably shouldn't have snapped at Ruthless." He scratched her ears. "Any ideas, Checks?"

Checkmate had no thoughts on the matter, or if she did, she didn't share them.

Teddy wanted to go back into the ring's memories, hoping for some fight they had all made up from or some such thing, but Dad's limits wouldn't let him in until tomorrow. He wished Mum had made hers separately, and that he'd brought it with him. Or, as long as he was wishing, that she was sitting at home with Granny and Dad, listening to the Weird Sisters and saying, "Oh, don't worry about Teddy, Remus. He'll be fine. Frankie's being a little berk, but Teddy's right, and Frankie will figure that out, and everything will be just like it was."

The daydream didn't help, and in fact made him feel worse, as it reminded him that he had no real idea what Mum would say about this. Maybe she'd be angry at him. Maybe she'd be out looking for Sanjiv's soul. Maybe she'd think Teddy was being disloyal. The daydream shifted its shape into a day-nightmare--a daymare, Teddy guessed--where Mum was alive, but telling him that her son oughtn't be calling his best friend names, that she was ashamed of him, that...


Checkmate had finished her lunch, and jumped on his bare foot, claws extended. Teddy had an urge to raise his foot and toss her away, but caught himself and scooped her up instead. "Sorry, Checkmate," he said. "I won't kick you. Sorry I thought it. I won't."

Checkmate had apparently not considered the possibility of being kicked, and happily nuzzled up against his shoulder, wiggling her wet nose against his collarbone and purring loudly. Teddy reached over and got the Marauder's Map, thinking he might like to get them to insult him, but not really feeling like it in the end. Instead, he just called up the castle view and watched the dots. The castle seemed normal. On the grounds, he could see Buckbeak the hippogriff moving around Hagrid's paddock. Hagrid was standing still inside the fence. Professor Longbottom was standing outside of it, and Robards was beside him. A dot Teddy didn't know, labeled Vivian Waters, was around the corner, half-in and half-out of the paddock. Teddy imagined them there, Hagrid throwing food to Buckbeak while Robards and Longbottom leaned casually on the fence, maybe talking about classes, or maybe the latest Puddlemere United-Montrose game. He wanted to be down there with them.

And why shouldn't he be? Uncle Harry had visited Hagrid a lot when he was a student, and had tea with Dad, and Teddy knew all of them perfectly well (except for the woman). He cleared the Map with finality, put it in the pocket of his light spring cloak, and headed out.

He thought about leaving Checkmate, but didn't. Instead, he carried her outside of the castle, then let her run along beside him as he made his way down to Hagrid's paddock. The scene was almost exactly as he imagined it. None of them saw him. Professor Longbottom and Robards were leaning on the fence, their elbows stuck out at an identical angle, and Hagrid was tossing dead ferrets high into the air for Buckbeak to jump at. The woman, Vivian Waters, was sitting on a rail of the fence. She seemed young and pretty, until she happened to look in Teddy's direction, and he saw that half of her face was mangled by scars, and in place of one of her eyes there was a huge, round magical eye.

"I told you he was coming," she said, and slipped down on the outside of the paddock to stand by Longbottom and Robards. She tapped her cheekbone beneath the magical eye and said, "Three hundred and sixty degree vision. It's almost worth trading an eye for."

"Hello, Teddy," Professor Longbottom said. "Did you need something?"

"I just thought I'd say hello. Is there anything that needs doing? I could feed something." He grabbed Checkmate before she decided to visit Buckbeak. "Or clean something." He looked from one to another of them. "Er... sorry. I should've asked."

"Don' even think about it," Hagrid said. "Would yeh like to have a go with Buckbeak?"

"Sure." Teddy set Checkmate down with a stern admonition to stay. He climbed the fence and bowed, then, when Buckbeak had bowed back, took the bucket of ferrets and started tossing them.

"Yeh're all right, Teddy?" Hagrid asked. "Yeh're not usually by yerself."

"He's not by himself now," Vivian said. "He's with us."

Teddy smiled at her, then remembered her name from the picnic last summer--the werewolf who Hermione was trying to help. "You knew my parents!" he said.

"That's an interesting thing to guess before you've been introduced to someone properly," Professor Longbottom said. "This is Vivian Waters," he added quickly. "I'm sure you recognized her by the eye, having heard something about it somewhere."

"Er... right."

"Vivian came because she's had a letter from your friend Frankie," Robards said. "About the Forbidden Forest. Do you know anything about that?"

Teddy knew nothing about Frankie writing letters, so he shook his head.

"I wrote some articles on its history," she said. "He must have read one. He wanted to know about plants that might trap souls. He said he was working on a project with his friend Teddy--do you happen to know what he needs? I wanted to talk to Professor Longbottom about the plants and Professor Hagrid about the Forest, and I thought Professor Robards might be able to help with any Dark powers, but it would be quite a lot easier to put our heads together and answer the question if we knew what the pair of you were looking for."

Teddy ground his teeth. "Sorry," he said. "I didn't know he'd written to anyone. I'm sorry he bothered you."

Robards started to say something, but Professor Longbottom, his eyes narrowed, raised a hand and stopped him. "It's all right," he said.

"And I'm not bothered," Vivian added. "Just interested. And I'm always happy to come up here."

Very briefly, Teddy considered telling them exactly what Frankie was doing, but he didn't want to be drawn back into it. He went back to feeding Buckbeak, and they went back to a talk that didn't sound like it had much to do with Frankie's question, anyway, or with the Forbidden Forest or Hogwarts. It didn't actually seem to be about anything at all, and Teddy knew that they were deliberately keeping off of a subject for him. Vivian perched herself back on the rail, now sitting beside Checkmate and petting her. He shouldn't have come. He should have waited for an invitation or detention. He got through the bucket of ferrets and smiled at Hagrid. "I'll, er... I should go. Dinner. Sorry to interrupt."

Vivian handed Checkmate to him. "She's a very cute cat," she said.

"Thank you."

"Tell Frankie we're working on it."

Teddy looked down and muttered that he would do so, and when he looked up, Vivian was also frowning, but she didn't say anything else. Professor Longbottom told him that the invitation to his office for tea was a standing one, and he should feel free to come if he needed to talk about anything. Teddy thanked him, and left as quickly as he could, wishing that he'd stayed in his room.

When he got back to the castle, it was time for supper, and he thought he should at least go through the motions of eating, even though he still wasn't hungry. He sat down at the Gryffindor table and looked across at Hufflepuff by habit. It was still early in the meal, and only a few 'Puffs had come up. One of them was Frankie.

Teddy sighed. Maybe he ought to go over and try to fix things. Maybe he owed Frankie an apology for calling him crazy--adults were taking his letter seriously, so maybe he was onto something. Maybe...

Frankie moved and Teddy froze, all thoughts of trying to make amends over. Frankie was pontificating on some subject that Teddy couldn't quite hear. Across from the table, an acid green quill poised over a piece of parchment, taking down every word he said, was Honoria Higgs.
58 comments or Leave a comment
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: September 12th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no.... *facepalm*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Just... yeah.
anna_in_the_sky From: anna_in_the_sky Date: September 12th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Frankie, nooo!

Also, the only thing I can think about now when I see Ruthless' name is her and Teddy trying to snog each other. ;-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
They don't do a very good job of it...
cleindori From: cleindori Date: September 12th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh no. No. No. Frankie, you really are going to regret saying anything to young miss Rita-Skeeter's-Protege. Eventually. Once you get over wanting to hurt Teddy. Which you will.

But Vivian! Yay! Will she be able to tell Frankie something that will convince him that he's on a bit of wild goose chase?

Also, Fern, I read the beginning of your post and was totally confused by the sunset reference until I remembered that Rosh Hashanah begins tonight, and you're a few timezones ahead of me. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Will she be able to tell Frankie something that will convince him that he's on a bit of wild goose chase?

Not if she doesn't know what he's actually doing, which, thanks to Teddy here, she doesn't. Of course, would he listen?
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: September 12th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Frankie!!! Someone needs to slap some sense into that boy! :) (Gently of course)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Someone really does, but on the other hand, that's the sort of sense one can only slap into oneself, I think.
keestone From: keestone Date: September 12th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh poor Teddy!

Reading this was the highlight of a long day. Thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome.
excitedrainbow From: excitedrainbow Date: September 13th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Frankie, noooooooo!

I've loved these past few chapters so much - Teddy and Frankie's role reversal, the Christmas, Granny Tonks's acceptance of Ted's need to find out about his parents, the ring (Remus and Dora's memories!), all the Muggles and Minions games, Maurice and Corky being awesome - aaahh, it's been brilliant.

Honoria needs a slap, Geoffrey needs to be talked to severely and ignored by all Muggle-borns, and Frankie should not be so stubborn.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey needs to be talked to severely and ignored by all Muggle-borns

Yes, he does. But then, he'd probably interpret any Muggle-born who doesn't agree with him as a dupe.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 13th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Out of the frying pan . . . something tells me that Honoria's account of whatever's going on with Frankie and Teddy isn't going to do either of them any favors. Looking forward to the next, although it may be a while before I can get to it, since my net access is likely to be spotty at best over the next few days. But I'll look forward to diving in again as soon as possible.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Honoria, possibly not out to be helpful and kind? Surely, you jest.
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: September 13th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
*yelps* Oh no! Frankie, why are you being so foolish?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
He hasn't had as much experience of Honoria as the first years have, and she picked a good approach.
redlily From: redlily Date: September 13th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the idea of telling a cat to stay. Maybe cats listen to wizards?

Shana tova u'metuka!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah--if Checkmate stayed where she was, it was pretty much because she decided it was as far from the great big hippogriff as she could get without losing sight of her daddy.
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: September 13th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, an early update!! I'm very interested to see what will happen next.

I love how professor Longbottom chooses not to interrogate Teddy. It reminded me subtly of Dumbledore.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Neville picked some good role models as a teacher, I think. Plus, of course, his innate Neville-ness.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: September 13th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh crap.

You know, I'm a journalist, and of all the injustices in the books, Rita's quill was right up there in my Top 3 Things That Made Me Want to Scream. GAH.
From: marciamarcia Date: September 13th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Word. Very much word.
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 13th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Teddy. The worst part is, all the adults are probably quite happy to have him there, aside from wondering if he'll talk about what's up with Frankie.

Much love for Neville, covering for the Map. Fingers crossed Vivian and Teddy will get to talk about Remus and Dora. I love that she now has a magical eye. (Also, nothing but hate for Fenrir! The damage that he's done is just so much.)

I'm still in suspense about the horrible, no-good, very bad article we're about to see. :P
obsfuscation From: obsfuscation Date: September 13th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, I forgot: L'shanah tovah!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: September 13th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Frankie needs a bludger to the head along with Geoffery.

Good job as always, Fern.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe Fred's playing Beater for Afterlife Avengers, and can lob a good inter-dimensional shot at the pair of them.
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: September 13th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
*starts shipping Neville/Vivian*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the strength of one scene in which all he does is introduce her?

Oh, wait... ;p
From: kobegrace Date: September 13th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Dear Frankie,

Mate, that is JUST BAD FORM!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Frankie's not really thinking clearly.
megan29 From: megan29 Date: September 13th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't have time to read your fanfic for the past few days, so today was a mini-marathon. :-) I won't have time to comment on each chapter either, so here's my overall comment on the last 4 or so: I love Granny's book, which hits the right tone of a documentary, with a sprinkling of mystery style and gothic characters thrown in. Not sure if you intend to continue with this, but I liked it.

I'm getting more confused by the chapter about Frankie's obsession, though. As far as I can tell, his main motivation is to help his mom so his parents don't drift apart. Am I right, or did I miss something? This doesn't seem enough motivation for his behavior and obsession, though, and I find him increasingly annoying. And not annoying in a good way :-), like Honoria, who is deliciously evil, or like Geoffrey, who is a riot. Just annoying in a "what's up with this character" sort of way. Sorry, not sure where you're going with Frankie - but I'll be patient. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I'll try to shore it up in re-writes, though it's hard since I'm mainly dealing with how Teddy reacts to his friend going a little off the deep end, and Teddy doesn't know everything. It's very tied up in Frankie's identity, and his insecurities which are brought about nearly as much by Teddy's presence as his parents' issues. The one thing that doesn't seem to occur to Teddy is that Frankie is an utter and complete geek and his friends are social outcasts. Teddy, on the other hand, is universally petted and fawned over. Teddy's an attractive and charismatic kid, his parents were war heroes. Frankie's overweight and unattractive, and his parents didn't do anything really in the war. Frankie--along with all of his other issues with his mother, it gives him a raging desire to prove himself. Other than that, he really does care about what happened to Sanjiv, and he's gotten himself trapped in one of those questions that there's no answer to, and those questions have a power of their own. He wants to solve the problem and fix everything for everyone. There'll be a little bit of a (not)Dumbledore-explains-it-all scene, but I think maybe I did get too far away from the other kids at some point if none of what Frankie's feeling is getting across despite the Teddy-blinders.
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: September 13th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Frankie, WHY?! Oh no, poor Teddy, someone please tell Frankie to stop being an idiot.

Sunset? Oh, you're Jewish, then? *beams* Guess that calls for a "shanah tova"!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
As I'm answering on Rosh ha Shana, I'm obviously not being a very good Jew this year, but thanks!

And I think Frankie's going to get his lesson on not being an idiot the hard way.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: September 13th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Frankie... well actually I don't just want to shake some sense in to him, I reckon that teddy could do with it as well. Honestly the boy takes one step foreward and two steps back. You'd think, that what with all those sympathetic adult ears around him while he was growing up he would have learned this little thing we call comunication. I mean yes there is the loyalty issue but at the same time he knows that what Frankie wants to do is dangerous and yet... nope. Chance blown. Especially since after he reads what ever article Frankiw and Honaria have come up with he'll probably get even more angry and do the whole and, well chance of reconciliation out the window. At least until Teddy reascues him from what evenr it is he ends up doing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, you clearly know the pattern of the story. :)
amamama From: amamama Date: September 13th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch. Just ... ouch. Considering Honoria's journalistic 'schooling' I just know this is going to hurt so badly. Both Teddy and Frankie. And man, do I want to inflict some serious hurt on Honoria as well.

And Neville, dear Neville - he's just so wonderful. Wish Teddy would take him up on his offer and come for tea a few times. And I want to know more about Vivian.

Thanks, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Vivian surprised me by showing up, and I have no idea what she's meant to do in the last couple of chapters. Hmmm.

There's definitely wonderfulness in Neville. Alas, if Teddy made good use of that relationship, there wouldn't be much story, as he'd have told him what was going on somewhere around Christmas, and Neville would have said, "I'll talk to Frankie's Head of House," and the Head of House would have contacted Maddie and Daffy, who would be appalled, and everything would have worked out by now!
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 13th, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Frankie ...

Thank you, thank you for bringing Vivian back! I've loved her since you first introduced her in Shades, and I could've danced to see her making an appearance again. I hope she helps!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know what Vivian is doing there, but I hope she comes up with some excuse for invading my brain just now. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2007 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, I hadn't got the chance to comment on the last few chapters, but this getting more and more interesting, and I loved the Marauders Roost. I wasn't particularly warm on T/V at first, but you made it grow on me through these stories. Teddy/Ruthless is hilarious, though!!!

And Frankie-you're so going to regret this. Honoria, of all people ( what IS Corky thinking, incidentally?)I can understand him deliberately saying something stupid and hurtful just to get Ted off his back but I think that he went too far now.
I wish they weren't both so stubborn, and I find the fact that Teddy's the one actually feeling guilty about the situation pretty amusing.

Yay for Mad-Eye!Vivian! Always glad to see her, she's adorable!

ada_the_mental From: ada_the_mental Date: September 13th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
And that was me, sorry!
heather916 From: heather916 Date: September 13th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Vivian!! And with Mad-Eye's Eye! How wonderful and creepy all at once! It's nice to see that she's grown into an intelligent and warm woman. Not that I'd've expected anything less of her. I wonder how all those werewolves in France took the news of Remus's death; he did so much for them.

Can I reach through the computer and smack Frankie around a bit? Sadly, though, he's acting just how 13-year-olds act when they're feeling self-righteous and angry. I suspect he'll regret it later. :( I'm very intrigued as to where all this soul discussion will lead us.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's not Mad-Eye's actual eye (I hate Umbridge), just another one made the same way, but yeah, someone needed to have special vision. The pups took the news really hard, especially since both Dolohov and Bellatrix are dead, so they had no revenge to take. Blondin though they should kill Greyback just for good measure, even though he wasn't responsible, but the others talked him down.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: September 13th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh God, what an idiot!
I'm glad to see Vivian, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I'd like to smack him around a little myself.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: September 13th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad Teddy went down to visit with the adults, even if he's been stubborn about talking about what's really going on. It was good to see Vivian again, too.

The fact that Teddy didn't know how his mum would react to the whole Frankie argument made me simultaneously sad and angry with J.K. Rowling. Poor Teddy!

And Frankie, no good things come of journalists with acid green quills...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 13th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
The fact that Teddy didn't know how his mum would react to the whole Frankie argument made me simultaneously sad and angry with J.K. Rowling. Poor Teddy!

Teddy identifies a lot with his dad, like most boys, but his "inner Dora" is the one who deals with all of his mixed reactions to himself, and he's not sure what he makes of himself just now. Sigh. The real Dora is a lot quieter than the real Remus. She just sort of inhabits Teddy in a way he doesn't really recognize because it's so much a part of him, so he ends up feeling very isolated from her.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: September 17th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear, Frankie! And you're the one who thinks repairing things is so important. This is going to take a lot of mending...
58 comments or Leave a comment